Monday, November 29, 2010

Grams Made an Advent Calendar

Anyone who knows Grams knows that I am an admirer and aficionado of all things Martha Stewart. I've watched her television shows for years and have gotten more than a little inspiration to just make things a little bit nicer and a little bit lovelier.

When my kids were little we had an advent calendar that I made from a pre-printed fabric. It was a fabric print of a big teddy bear house. Printed along the bottom of the fabric was a grid with 25 days of instructions for where the bear looked for Christmas each day. One of the teddy bears was attached to a pin and each day the kids moved him from room to room as he looked for Christmas. Our son particularly loved that advent calendar and insisted that I still put it up each year even when he was in college. Last year I gave it to him for his own home.

Martha Stewart Advent Calendar
Then I saw Martha make a beautiful Advent Calender. It's made of little aluminum canisters that would normally be used to hold spices in your kitchen. It's very glittery and sparkly and I immediately thought it would be fun to make one for Our Little Princess and put a little surprise inside of each canister for her. Here are the instructions for Martha's calendar.

So this year I set out to make and fill an advent calendar. This turned out to be one of the most challenging DIY projects I've ever undertaken. It was one of those "if anything can go wrong, it will" projects.

I went shopping for the canisters. It took me at least four stores to find enough canisters all the same size and they were significantly more expensive than I expected.

For two reasons I decided not to glitter each of these little canisters. First, Grandad HATES glitter. He doesn't like it when I bring it into the house for any reason. Although, if he is ever going to tolerate it, it would be for Our Little Princess. Second, glitter and two-year-old girls is probably not a good combination.

AC1-Star font
Instead of glitter I decided to print the numbers in red and green. I downloaded this really cool font. I thought it was perfect and it's a TrueType font so I was able to resize it in MS Word to the size I wanted. I printed it out on card stock and decided it needed more color, so I used a colored pencil and colored the stars yellow.

That accomplished, I realized that the canister lids (which are clear) are slightly larger than my circle punch. That meant I had to cut all 24 inserts for the lids by hand. Bummer!

Then, I wasn't happy with the lack of glitter, so I went to Michael's and bought red, green, clear sticky-back jewels and put them on the bottom edge of each canister. The final effect is kind of like tinsel draped on a Christmas tree.

When I bought the canisters I also bought a roll of cut-to-fit magnetic tape. Which I attached to the back of each canister. My original plan was to attach the canisters to a cookie sheet, but when I laid out the tree pattern, it was too wide for any cookie sheet I could find. Back to the drawing board.

I dug through my closets and found an old gold picture frame that was the right size. Now, what kind of metal would work? Grandad and I took the frame to our local Home Depot in search of a piece of sheet metal that would work with a magnet. We found sheet metal but we couldn't find the right size. We were disappointed to discover that Home Depot will not cut sheet metal. We don't own any tin snips, so we looked at them only to find that they were about $20, more than we wanted to spend for one use. So we ended up buying two pieces of sheet metal that would have to be layered to get the width we needed, but they would still have to be cut to fit the height. Special thanks to our next door neighbor Ron for helping Grandad cut them. Grandad is kind of a klutz and klutziness, blood-thinners and jagged sheet metal are not a good combination.

Once the metal was cut, I hot glued the two pieces together and I missed. That's right, I glued them crooked and had to take them apart, peel the glue off, and re-do it. Then I realized that the seam showed too much so I would need to cover the metal. I went to my sewing box and found a piece of red crushed velvet which I stretched over the metal and glued on the back. I covered the back with white cardboard to give it a finished look.

A little Christmas bracelet and a Hershey's kiss.
Now I set out to fill the 24 canisters with little surprises. Can you guess? These canisters are so small that I had a very hard time finding 24 items that would fit inside and still be age appropriate for our not-quite-two-year-old Princess. I didn't want it to be only candy. I bought little toys, Christmas jewelry, Hershey's kisses, Christmas socks, and soft peppermints to go inside. Ten of the canisters got a little note inside that said "pick a present." So the calendar is accompanied by a gift bag that has 10 wrapped presents inside.

Next I arranged the canisters in the Christmas tree shape and lifted the frame. Now the strip magnets were not strong enough to hold the canisters in place through the crushed velvet. I went back to Hobby Lobby for stronger magnets. I bought magnetic discs with a strength number of 6. The magnetic tape had a strength number of 2. I peeled the magnetic tape off and applied the discs with hot glue. Success!

Grams' Advent Calendar
Finally, after all the frustrations, it was finished. It's done and sitting in Our Little Princess' dining room waiting for December 1st to arrive. And, we caught her peaking several times over the Thanksgiving weekend so I think it will turn out to be a lot of fun for her. And ... I made sure to tuck in some extra candy for Mom and Dad. Here's the finished product. It's a little bit kitschy which I think is perfect. I think I did a good job of taking Martha's project and making it my own.

The frustrations I encountered with this project made me think about how Martha Stewart has an entire, huge staff to work out all the kinks in her projects before we actually see her do them on her shows. I think I'll send them a suggestion for a show featuring the back-stories on some of their craft projects. It would be fun to see how many of them it takes to accomplish what one of her fans does. Speaking from experience. Some of these projects are really challenging.

Now, if only I could borrow some of Martha's staff to put up my Christmas tree and decorate my house. Grams can dream ... can't she?

I'm linking this post to ...

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things

Maria Von Trapp sang about her favorite things. Oprah gives away her favorite things. Grams wants to share a few of my favorite things with you.  This is just a partial list, there will be more later. Here are a few of Grams favorite things ...

Pop-Pop Reading to Our Little Princess
I love reading to children, especially Our Little Princess and I love childrens' books. I also love the fact that Grandad will read to Our Little Princess any time she asks. Normally, he doesn't display too much interest in books. He would much rather stretch out in that recliner and watch a movie or television show. But somehow, whatever the Princess wants to do is okay with Pop-Pop!

Bird of Paradise
I love Bird-of-Paradise. I love it so much that I chose for my bridesmaids to carry single stems of Bird-of-Paradise.

The  plant pictured is in my front yard. It was a gift from my next-door-neighbors in memory of my mother. It's been planted in that spot for three years, but has never bloomed. About two months ago, my neighbor asked me if she could fertilize it. She gave it a Miracle-Gro feeding and it's been blooming ever since. Gorgeous!

Picture Mail
I love picture mail! It keeps me in touch with my family wherever they roam. This picture is my gorgeous daughter-in-law, Marie, and my handsome son, Nick, enjoying a winery in the Los Angeles area. They were there in September for a long weekend and, because of picture mail, we got to share the excitement as they looked at the stars on the Walk of Fame and visited Rodeo Drive. It's so great to get picture or video mail that allows me to share their lives and stay connected to them.

I started playing bunco on a regular basis when I was pregnant with our son. He will be 29 years old tomorrow. That means, I have played bunco a minimum of once a month for almost 30 years now. For a while I played with two clubs, so I played twice a month.

If you're not familiar with bunco, it's a dice game for 12 people (usually 12 women).  The only skill required is the ability to count to 21 and a whole lot of enthusiasm. And, to tell the truth, the ability to count to 21 is optional because everyone has a partner and you can depend on someone at the table to help you count. For me bunco is a girls' night out once a month and an opportunity to let off steam and act silly. Some clubs play for prizes, but we play for money.

I love books ... fiction, nonfiction, romance, fantasy, bestsellers, classics, leather bound, paperback, whatever! You name it. I love it. I discovered books at a very early age. I was one of those kids that would stay indoors and read all the time. My mother had different plans and would chase me outdoors and make me play with other kids. Now, rather than isolate me, books help me interact with others. I belong to a fabulous book club. The twelve women who are members of The Book Snobs share my love for books. Once a month we get together to discuss a great or not-so-great book, share a glass of wine and a lovely dinner. This group feeds my soul like few other things in my life.

These are the little things that make life lovely for Grams. There are many other things that also belong on this list. I'm thinking of making this a regular post.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Grams Made Southern Pecan Pie

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I've been making my shopping list. If I don't get called to work tomorrow, I'll be going to the grocery store early in the day. Hopefully, some people will still be working and it won't be overly crowded. I can always hope, right.

I'll be doing my baking on Tuesday evening. We're going to my sister Bylinda's home in Seguin for Thanksgivng Day. She's doing the turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, homemade dinner rolls, and macaroni and cheese. Knowing Bylinda as I do, I know she's making a couple of desserts too. I'm taking broccoli rice casserole, deviled eggs and pecan pie. Katy will bring her mile-high apple pie and Nick is bringing honey-baked ham. Travis is making home-made cranberry sauce.

Just a personal note here ... I'm so proud that my children always go to family dinners with a dish in hand. So many of the younger family members just show up and eat. Grandad and I worked hard to instill this responsibility in our kids and it's so rewarding to see them follow through on things that we taught them.

It's always been interesting to me how family members seem to get assigned to bring certain things to family gatherings. In our family at least, once you make a dish, you own it. I got this pecan pie recipe from a co-worker more than 30 years ago. Ever since the first year I made it, I am always assigned to bring pecan pie. Everyone in the family considers this the best pecan pie they've ever eaten. One year I tried a different recipe and my family was not happy about it. The next year I went back to this old reliable recipe.

In the South, pecan pie is as important to Thanksgiving as pumpkin pie. Most cooks use pecan halves in their pies. I chop the pecans because they stay tender and the pie is easier to cut. I have also discovered that the pie filling does not set if I use a metal pie plate. Be sure to use a glass or Pyrex pie plate for best results.

1 prepared pie crust (I use Pillsbury All-Ready)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup margarine
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 teaspoon salt

Place prepared pie crust in pie plate and flute the edges.

Blend sugar, syrup and margarine in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Blend hot mixture slowly into beaten eggs. Stir in vanilla extract and salt. Pour into pie shell. Top with pecans.

Cover the edge of the pie crust with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning. Remove it after 20 minutes. Bake at 375ยบ for 30 minutes.

This post is being linked to:

Button pic 9

Thursday, November 18, 2010

First Haircut

Grams and Grandad had a visit from Our Little Princess and her mom last weekend. They came in early on Friday. It was my pleasure to accompany the Princess and her mom as she got her first haircut at a salon. She's had home haircuts before, but this was her first trip to the salon.

It seemed okay at first. She took her seat in the booster seat in the big chair.

The paper collar made her a little bit nervous.

She giggles when Grams uses the spray bottle at home, but in the salon with the big chair, not so much.

It was just about this time that the whole thing went south. She did not like the salon. She did not want to sit in the big chair. She pulled off the cape. She yanked off the paper collar. She climbed out of the big chair into the safety of Grams' arms. I stood and held Our Little Princess turning her from one side to the other and trying to keep her still. This was the expression on her face throughout the experience.

The very patient young lady managed a pretty good haircut under the circumstances.

She sure looked adorable with her new "do." And, what was it my mother used to say? Something like "it's the price we pay for being women." I'm afraid this is only the first of many lessons to come.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Just like my Pop-pop!
Wordless Wednesday is a great day to post an awesome picture that “speaks” for itself, no words needed!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Grams Made Granny's Oatmeal Cookies

Grams had a wonderful visit this past weekend with Our Little Princess and her mom. Unfortunately, about the time they arrived, I came down with a nasty cold. I'm still hopeful that maybe they won't get it. It's been miserable and I'm not feeling much better yet.

In preparing for their visit, I decided to bake cookies. When considering what kind of cookies to bake, I remembered that, when we cleaned out my Mom's belongings, I ran across a copy of my Granny's recipe for oatmeal cookies. These are the cookies I grew up eating. They are so good! To this day they are the only cookie that has ever tempted me to eat the raw cookie dough. They are that good.

The original recipe came from the back of a package of Mother's Oats, which I don't think they make any more. The only change I made was to use butter instead of the shortening called for in the original recipe. Since I don't buy or keep shortening, I always substitute unsalted butter.

I have magical memories of eating these cookies as a child in my Granny's kitchen. If I close my eyes, I can still see her bending over to take them out of the oven in her little country kitchen. She always wore her hair in a bun on the back of her head and always wore homemade shirtwaist dresses that buttoned in the front. And she had so much love for all of her grandkids. She was the quintessential grandmother who always had time and patience for all of us. She was the adult in my life who gave me consistency and unconditional love.

This is, without a doubt, the best oatmeal cookie recipe I have ever made or eaten. Our Little Princess liked them too, with one exception. In the future, I'll be omitting the raisins, Our Little Princess picked them out rather distastefully.

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sifted enriched flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon soda
3 cups uncooked oatmeal
1 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place shortening, sugars, egg, water and vanilla in mixing bowl; beat thoroughly. Sift together flour, salt and soda; add to shortening mixture, mixing well. Blend in oats. Stir in raisins, if using.

Drop by teaspoons onto greased cookie sheets. Bake 12 to 15 minutes.

Makes 5 dozen cookies.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Grams Made Old Time Beef Stew

Grams has told you before that I didn't cook much when my kids were at home. There were a few exceptions. I taught myself to make this old fashioned stew as a young bride. The first time I made it, I couldn't believe that I made something that tasted this good.

The original recipe came from a Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book that I received as a wedding gift in 1975. Over the years I haven't changed it very much. The original recipe called for shortening; I use olive oil instead. And we like lots of broth so I add more water than the original recipe called for and I over the years I have increased to spices and seasonings to make up for adding extra water.

2 pounds beef stew meat, cut in 1½ inch cubes
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, grated
2 medium onions, sliced
1 or 2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Dash ground cloves
6 carrots, pared and quartered or a 1 pound bag of baby carrots
4-6 potatoes, pared and quartered
1 pound small white onions
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

In a Dutch oven, thoroughly brown meat in 2 tablespoons hot olive oil, turning often. Add 4-6 cups hot water and next nine ingredients. Cover; simmer for 1 ½ hours stirring occasionally to keep from sticking. Remove bay leaves. Add vegetables. Cover and cook 30 to 45 minutes, or till vegetables are tender.

Slowly blend 1/3 cup cold water into the 3 tablespoons flour. Stir slowly into hot stew moisture. Cook and stir until bubbly. Cook and stir 3 minutes longer to thicken broth.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I've Been Grilled - Check Me Out

I'm excited to be featured today on Grandma's Briefs.  I'm today's "Grilled Grandma."

Once a week Lisa shines her spotlight on a grandma. Lisa asks the questions and the grandma responds with answers and photos!

She features a new Grilled Grandma each week.

Thanks, Lisa! I'm honored to be grilled!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Stop the Time Change Madness

Grams is sitting on the sofa with her feet propped up at 8:30 p.m. I subbed for an inclusion teacher today, which means I spent the entire day moving from classroom to classroom. I'm tired tonight and my feet hurt from walking all over the school. But my exhaustion is not from working today. Most of it is because this is the first week of "standard time."

I'm not a big fan of standard time, but I do love daylight saving time. I like it when the sun goes down later in the day. Now that we're back to standard time, it's pitch dark around 6 p.m. and I hate that.

My biggest complaint though is the "time change." Yes, I know it's only and hour, but it throws my entire "clock" into chaos. I can take either time, but my body does not respond well to the change. I wake up way too early for several weeks and I'm hungry at the wrong times. When my stomach thinks it's lunch time, I look at the clock and I still have an hour or more to wait. And, I'm sleepy by 8 o'clock in the evening. But if I give in and go to bed early, it just makes it all a vicious circle, because then I wake up way too early again and it all starts over again.

It also makes me crazy that many clocks never get changed and when they do get changed, it takes weeks or months to get them all synchronized. Does anybody really know what time it is?

In addition, it's not unusual for me to come down with a cold within one or two weeks of the twice-a-year time change. I think the disruption of my sleep pattern causes me to be run down and more susceptible.

If you are interested in the history of daylight saving time or if you would like to see the research data that shows how much energy is saved by DST along with some interesting statistics about lives saved and injuries avoided as a result of DST go to The California Energy Commission web site.

It is true that the concept came from Benjamin Franklin. Both Britain and the United States used DST during World War I and again during World War II.

When Grams was a child in the 1950s and early 1960s, Texas did not observe daylight saving time. My recollection is that it started when I was in junior high school, sometime around 1966 or 1967. Then in 1973 and 1974 Congress put most of the USA on year-round daylight saving time to save energy during the Arab oil embargo. After 1975, most of the US began observing DST from April until October. The start and end dates have been amended a couple of times over the years.

I say it's time to stop the madness! I've never run into one single person who embraces the time change. Many people like one time more than the other. Some prefer daylight saving time and some prefer standard time, but no one likes the process of changing it twice a year. Let's start a grassroots movement to get congress to repeal the law and choose one time or the other. Personally, I like daylight saving time, but I could learn to like standard time if they would just stop changing it.

So, there's my idea. Now, how do we get this done?

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Long Line of Love

On this date in 1975 I married the love of my life. Today, November 8, 2010 is our 35th wedding anniversary. I'm working on a blog post that will tell our love story from the beginning, but it's not done yet. I'll post it in a few days when it's written to my satisfaction. Today's post is going to be short and sweet.

Grams & Grandad on our wedding day.
We chose to be married on November 8th for a number of reasons, but mostly so it wouldn't interfere with opening weekend of deer season in South Texas. It seems our best man would not be able to make it the next weekend ... yes, seriously! (And, yes, there is definitely a story behind the crutches. I'll cover that in my love story post.)

The rest of the story is that November 8th is also my parents wedding anniversary. They were married in 1942 and stayed married for 59 years until death parted them. Today would have been their 68th anniversary.
My parents, Oran & Louise Skelton on their wedding day.

Two years ago, our son Nick and his college sweetheart, Marie, also married on November 8th. It was an amazingly beautiful wedding and Grandad and I were honored that they chose to continue the tradition of November 8th weddings.
Our son Nick and his wife Marie on their wedding day.

Every year on this day I'm reminded of a song that Michael Martin Murphey released a few years ago, A Long Line of Love. I think it's very appropriate for our family.
I bought a beautiful diamond ring. I offered it to the sweetest thing I know
And she said she would take it.
We started making some wedding plans. she looked at me and she took my hand
And said "Are you sure we can make it?"
I said, "My grand dad's still in love with my grandma.
My dad still thinks my mom's the sweetest thing he ever saw."

I come from a long line of love.
When the times get hard we don't give up.
Forever's in my heart and in my blood.

You see I come from a long line of love.

Years went by and we had a son. Now he thinks he found someone for him
And they're planning a wedding.
He called me up on the phone today just to see what I had to say to him.
Did I think he was ready?
I said what his grandfather used to say to me.
Its been handed down for ages; it runs in our family.

You come from a long line of love.
When the times get hard we don't give up.

Forever's in your heart and in your blood.
Son you come from a long line of love.
We come from a long line of love.
It's true ... we do come from a long line of love.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Holiday Photo Cards ... So Many Choices

Christmas is coming! Whether Grams likes it or not, the truth of the matter is that the 2010 holiday season is upon us. Retailers stocked Christmas items right alongside Halloween items and grocers have had their Thanksgiving displays of baking items in place for several weeks already.

When I was younger, I was big on starting early to make the holidays "Norman Rockwell" perfect for my family. There were years when my Christmas shopping was well underway or sometimes finished by the time we sat down to Thanksgiving dinner.

When I worked full time, I worked in a job that was very busy during the fall of the year. Fall is prime season for nonprofit fund-raising and my life was scheduled around that for many years. Now, I'm able to be a little lot more relaxed about the whole holiday season. Working part time has a big impact on my budget, but the luxury of working only when I want to work makes the penny-pinching worthwhile. Honestly, these days I don't Christmas shop until the December sales and I don't usually decorate until the first weekend of December.

The one thing I still start early every year is my Christmas cards. I'm always excited to send and to get Christmas cards and I usually have them ready to go in the mail right after Thanksgiving. I have been known to hand-address all the envelopes in the car on the way to and from Thanksgiving dinner at my sister's home. And, some years every card gets a handwritten personal note.

I've always admired those people who send out an annual Christmas newsletter. I've never been able to bring myself to actually write one and send it out, but I absolutely adore them and love to see what has been going on in our friends' lives each year. A few years ago I switched from sending traditional pre-printed Christmas cards and started sending photo cards at Christmas. (Okay! Okay! I admit the urge to send photo cards didn't hit me until after I had gastric bypass surgery and lost 125 pounds.)

I've been browsing the cards available at Shutterfly for more than a week now. To say that they have a huge selection of cards available is an understatement. There are more than 700 to choose from. It's going to be very hard for me to choose. You can see the entire collection at Shutterfly Christmas Cards.

This is the first one that caught my eye. "It's the most wonderful time of the year" captures exactly how I feel about the holidays and I love the green stripes. Green is my favorite color.

"Sweet and Retro"

Then I saw this one. I really like the swirly design on this one.

Merry Merry Swirl
This one is great too! It's so simple and all tied up with a cute little bow.
Gorgeous Gift
This one would definitely work for us ... after all, we're from South Texas. I never choose cards that have snow and winter designs. My daughter says it's because I believe in "truth in advertising."

O Palm Tree
I think this one might be perfect with just the right picture of Our Little Princess. I like the way it features the beautiful face of a child.

Flourish Wreath
Seriously, there are so many to choose from it really is going to take me a while to decide. The really cool thing is that you can upload a few pictures and try each design out to see what looks best with your photos.

Another really nice touch is the availability of coordinating holiday address labels. For me, that kind of attention to detail makes my cards really special. 

Shutterfly also offers a wide variety of Thanksgiving cards and invitations, wall calendars, and party invitations.

Grams received 50 free holiday cards for blogging about Shutterfly and passing their promotional information on to you. All opinions are my own. Bloggers, if you want 50 free holiday cards for yourself go here.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Rocky Horror Show

On Halloween night, Grams and Grandad were looking for an escape from our neighborhood block party and trick-or-treaters. We don't want to buy candy, because if we buy it, we eat it ... and neither of us need candy in our diets.

Grams had seen on 40 Things To Do in Corpus Christi's Facebook Page that Richard O'Brien's The Rocky Horror Show was playing live at the Aurora Arts Theater. We've been big fans of The Rocky Horror Picture Show for many years. I didn't even realize that it was a play, I thought it was just a movie.  Silly me!

Turns out they had been doing three performances every weekend since the end of September. Halloween weekend they had two performances each night at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. We were able to get tickets for the 7 o'clock performance on Halloween. There are no reserved seats in the small theater. It's first come, first seated in this 100 seat theater.

We were pleasantly surprised to find that the Aurora Arts Theater believes in a "complete" live performance. No canned music at the Aurora; live music is an important part of the production. Admission was only $14 each and "prop bags" were $5 each.

This was a great way to spend Halloween night. It was so much fun. The actors were well cast and "the chorus" added a lot of fun to the experience.  The small size of the theater makes this an intimate theater experience. The entire playhouse becomes part of the staging. It's truly an interactive theater experience, especially during The Rocky Horror Show. For example, every time someone says "Brad" the audience shouts "Asshole" and every time some says "Janet" the crowd shouts "Slut." There are many other opportunities for crowd interaction and a few words that I won't put into print here. I was surprised to see a number of audience members who seemed significantly older than Grams and Grandad. We're in our mid-fifties. I was a little bit concerned that the gentleman seated next to me was somewhat older and I thought he might be offended, but it didn't seem to bother him in the least.

It's a lot of fun to soak the cast with water from a water pistol during the "rain" scenes. And I loved waving my light to the tune of "Over At The Frankenstein Place." For me the highlight of the night was when the cast invited the entire audience to dance the "Time Warp" at the end of the performance. It was so much fun, even if Grandad and the old guy next to me just stood there instead of dancing.

Photos are not allowed inside the theater, but the cast graciously posed in the lobby for quite some time after the show. And, as is tradition, many of the audience members were also in costume. I regret that I did not get a photo of either Raymond Guttierrez who played Frank-N-Furter or Aaron Cooper who was the narrator. They were both delightful in the play, but somehow I just missed them when I was taking pictures.

It's clear that everyone involved at the Aurora Arts Theater is there for the love of theater and performance. We will definitely be attending more productions at this intimate little theater.

Next up on their schedule is Grace and Glorie by Tom Zeigler. They've just recently announced their 2011 season. I can't wait!

The Cutest Little Brown Bear Ever

Grams volunteered to make a Halloween costume for Our Little Princess this year. Her Mom decided she should be a little brown bear. If you ask her what a bear says, she curls her fingers like claws and says "rowr!" I made it out of micro-fleece so it will double as a pair of winter pajamas.

I think she's the cutest little brown bear ever! And look at those beautiful big brown eyes.

Since they live in San Antonio, we weren't there to see her trick-or-treating for the first time. Her Mom reports that she was kind of mystified by the whole process. When a front door opened she would very softly say "trick or treat." And, anytime she saw kids in scary costumes, she would make about a 10-foot arc around them and grab firmly onto her Daddy's knees. I wish we had been there.

Instead, we went to a local production of the Rocky Horror Show. It was great fun. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow. I hope you had a great Halloween, too.

Today is the third and final day of the SITS Girls Halloween link-up. Participants in this link up have a chance to win a fabulous state-of-the-art Canon Rebel DSLR camera, so I'm participating. Today's assignment was to post about what we or our kids dressed up for this Halloween. As you can see, I wrote about our grand-daughter. This SITS girls is a "group of more than 7,000 women bloggers dedicated to supporting one another by leaving comments. Lots and lots of comments."